Xanthorhoe quadrifasiata/quadrifasciata? (Clerck 1759)

Martin Honey M.Honey at nhm.ac.uk
Mon Sep 25 04:17:33 EDT 2000

At 02:28 PM 23/09/2000 +0200, you wrote:
>quadrifasciata - ie with 4 fasciae. quadrifasiata is a typographical
>ref: Emmet (1991) "The Scientific Names of the British Lepidoptera...."

I feel I have to correct the interpretation by Ian. He quite correctly
quotes the comments by Emmet but makes the assumption that quadrifasciata
is the correct name. Emmet makes no such interpretation, purely stating
that Clerk (quite probably) made a typographical error. Actually, the
situation is not even that simple as there are several other variations of
the spelling and Emmet makes no mention of these. Emmet's comments are
based on what is the derivation of the name (i.e. what the correct Latin
is) not what the correct name is. There are many similar instances, not
least of which is Linnaeus's mis-spelling of Lyonetia clerkella!

The 'original' spelling (i.e. the one on the plate by Clerck, 1759) is
quadrifasiata. Linnaeus (1761) subsequently used two different spellings
quadrifasciata and quadrifasciaria and even Clerck (1764 in the Register)
mis-spelled it quadrifaciata.

The reference for the above (in part) comes from Mikkola (1985) in his
treatment of the Geomtroidea and Noctuoidea described by Clerck. In that
work he opted for the original spelling (in line with the Code) and this
has been followed in the latest published catalogue of the Geometridae
(Scoble et al, 1999) and the latest British checklist.

Therefore the 'correct' spelling is the original one quadrifasiata.

Hope this helps


Martin R. Honey CBiol MIBiol, Lead Curator (Moths)
Department of Entomology, The Natural History Museum,
Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, Great Britain
EMAIL:     M.Honey at nhm.ac.uk
Museum web page <http://www.nhm.ac.uk>

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